One mother has advice on what to say and what not to say to the parents of children with Down Syndrome; advice based on her own experiences. Her post about what people say to her regarding her 4-month-old infant daughter Louise has gone viral, garnering over 13 thousand likes and over 27 thousand shares in under less than two days.
The mother, Caroline Boudet, and her daughter Louise live in Paris. She decided to write the post after returning from a disappointing doctor’s appointment with her daughter where she'd heard many of the same sentiments she’d heard before about her child, but this time marked a breaking point.
“In that one hour, I heard the kind of sentences about Louise that I’ve gotten used to hearing, but this time, it was too much,” Boudet told Yahoo Parenting.
One of the things she hears the most is people questioning why she didn’t find out about the baby’s condition during pregnancy and choose to abort, often times right in front of her daughter.
Even well-meaning people that say things like “It’s your baby no matter what,” are doing more harm than good. “No. it’s my baby, period," Boudet responded "Plus no matter what….I’d rather call her Louise.”
The types of things she and her daughter hear as they go about their lives are things that it’s easy to imagine people thoughtlessly saying.
Boudet knows that while some people don’t mean to be hurtful, that statements like these are hurtful and hoped that the message would go viral. The post might encourage people to think before speaking to parents of children that have Down Syndrome.
“I came home with tears in my eyes, and I wondered what I could do it make it change and not hear it again,” says Boudet. "Each year there are (in France) 500 new 'mothers of Louise' that can have a day ruined by those kind of words."
Considering how many people the message has reached, she may indeed have helped to make a change.